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Bashan בשׁן

(1,488 words)

Author(s): G. del Olmo Lete
I. Name Hebrew bāšān I ‘fertile, stoneless piece of ground’ ( HALAT, 158), should be distinguished from Heb. bāšān II ‘serpent’, which is etymologically cognate with Ug. bṯn ‘serpent’ (Akk. bašmu; Ar. baṯan; Day 1985:113–119; see also Heb. peten: cf. HALAT 930). A relation between bāšān I and II was proposed by Albright ( BASOR 110 [1948] 17, n. 53; HUCA 23 [1950–1951] 27–28; cf. Fensham, JNES 19 [1960] 292–293; Dahood 1981:145–146). He interpreted Bashan, ‘Serpent’, as a nickname of the Canaanite god Yammu, the chaotic serpentine monster, given its ap…

Og עוג

(1,170 words)

Author(s): G. del Olmo Lete
I. Name Of unknown etymology, although some connexion with Osa g̃aig (?), Soqotri ʿaig, Hatraean ʿgʾʾ ‘man’ could be established (Rabin ErIsr. 8 [1967] 251–154; cf. also Ug. PN bn ʿgy, KTU 4.611:19), Og is attested 22 times in the Bible as the king of Bashan, along with the Amorite king Sihon, both of them vanquished by the Israelite newcomers. More specifically it is said of him that he was “one of the survivors of the Rephaim” ( Deut. 3.11; Josh. 12.4; Josh. 13.12 [NEB]) and was huge in stature, as fitted this race of giants; this could be verified by the dimensions of his …

Deber דבר

(464 words)

Author(s): G. del Olmo Lete
I. Name The accepted meaning ‘pestilence’ may be a specific Hebrew development with scarce support from other Semitic languages (cf. Ug. dbr ‘pestilence’ [?], Ar. dabr ‘death’, dabara ‘ulcer’); Akk. dibiru ‘misfortune, calamity’ is probably a Sumerian word, having no connexion with Hebr deber ( CAD D. 134–135). Deber is one of the three proverbial causes of death on a wide scale. It is attested some 50 times in the Bible along with war (sword, blood) and famine (mainly in Jer and Ez). Besides this empirical meaning, it seems to be used a number of times in a personified sense as a demon or…